We will read through Genesis 39 and see things for ourselves.
1And Joseph was brought down to Egypt; and Potiphar, an officer of Pharaoh, captain of the guard, an Egyptian, bought him of the hands of the Ishmaelites, which had brought him down thither.
2 And the Lord was with Joseph, and he was a prosperous man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian.
Holy Paradox!!!! Mimo!!!! Holy paradox!!!! Verse 1 and 2 seems not to go together. Slavery and prosperity do not go together. One slave master sells you to another and the scriptural outcome states emphatically that God was with you and that you prospered. Again, I shout, “Holy paradox!!!”
Let’s bring it down to contemporary terms. One bad boss left and when you wanted to take the next breath, a worse boss takes over. “God forbids. Affliction shall not rise a second time,” you confessed. But it seems this is your reality. You are now farther from your dreams and career track. And God calls it prosperity.
Another example. You have taken two pay cuts in 2 years. Again, God calls it prosperity. Why?
I don’t have the answer. But if God calls it prosperity then I have to find a way to believe it. Brethren, the earlier we line up with the Word and not fight with it, the better for us. When we see ourselves in places that we ought not to be and sometimes for no fault of ours. When you have thought it through and nothing makes sense, then it is time to PRAISE THE LORD. The devil wants you to despair but your confession should be Verse 2, “and the Lord is with me and He prospered me.” A song of joy in seeming calamity. Count it all joy … not an easy thing to do but by faith we say it nonetheless.
3 And his master saw that the Lord was with him, and that the Lord made all that he did to prosper in his hand.
4 And Joseph found grace in his sight, and he served him … and all that he had he put into his hand.
5 … the Lord blessed the Egyptian’s house for Joseph’s sake; and the blessing of the Lord was upon all that he had in the house, and in the field.
6 … And Joseph was a goodly person, and well favoured.
Potiphar noticed that there was something about Joseph. Potiphar was both a wise and observant man. Hey, he was not a commander of Pharaoh’s army for nothing. He knew his onions. He knew how to work with men. He took notice that the stars seemed to align for this young man though he was in a hard place. Every master knows that no slave loves being a slave. But despite the situation, this guy was upbeat and giving his best to the task at hand.
Verse 6 says that Joseph did not give into depression about his condition but rather he was good and upbeat. He did not carry his faith on his forehand but rather he demonstrated his faith by good work ethic and giving his best to the job at hand.
Potiphar gave Joseph leadership responsibilities … little by little until he outsourced the running of his household to this foreign boy. Holy paradox!!!! Whoever does that? It seems that the prosperity prophesied in verse 2 don dey show.
Potiphar knew that Joseph was both a good and lucky general. Luck is the colloquial expression humans give when they notice the unforced rhythm of grace and favour working out in the life of a man.
7 And it came to pass after these things, that his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, Lie with me.
8 But he refused …
9 … how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?
10 And it came to pass, as she spake to Joseph day by day … to be with her.
11 And it came to pass about this time, that Joseph went into the house to do his business; …
12 And she caught him by his garment, saying, Lie with me … he left his garment in her hand, and fled….
Great responsibility and elevation come with great temptation. Joseph was the CEO of Potiphar Inc. but he knew his boundaries. But here was he given an offer that seems to be only one way and with no options. He could not talk Mrs Potiphar out of it and he could not report Mrs Potiphar. Remember in all this, he is a slave. I am sure he prayed about it to the biggest boss of all; God. But it seems with many prayers came more assault. The tempo of the assault was forever increasing.
Why did Mrs Potiphar not choose another person? Why Joseph? Many questions, few answers. A great destiny comes with big, gigantic hurdles. What will you sell it for? Life will ask you more questions that you are willing to answer. But you must answer them.
And when the day for Mrs Potiphar to execute her plans came, Joseph took Paul’s advice. He fled from the scene of temptation. He got home and the accusations levelled against him could not be denied. There was circumstantial evidence. What can a slave do? But I am sure he had made up his mind … if I perish, so be it.
So, have you prepared for this day of your life when you will be framed on an issue you have no clue about? In case you have not, then you should. Your case might not be of being framed. You will just be on the wrong side of a decision. You might be asked to do something that you know is against everything you believe in. As you go up in life, it will happen. It is only a matter of time. As in the case of Joseph, you will have no explanation that will make sense. Your only defence will be God and sometimes God does not say a word when you want Him to.
19 And it came to pass, when his master heard the words of his wife, … that his wrath was kindled.
20 And Joseph’s master took him, and put him into the prison, a place where the king’s prisoners were bound: and he was there in the prison.
21 But the Lord was with Joseph, and shewed him mercy, and gave him favour in the sight of the keeper of the prison.
It seems Joseph has something in modern day Christianese called “near success syndrome” (which does not exist, by the way). It seems when he is about to settle down, something big rattles him. Loved boy at home = sold to slavery. Trusted servant = thrust into prison. Can we say he is still lucky?
I would say so. Has it crossed your mind that Potiphar could have ordered Joseph killed on the spot and nothing would have happened? Think of it, he was a slave. Potiphar owned Joseph 100%. Joseph and a goat in Potiphar’s house had the same worth. Both can be disposed of as the owner pleases.
It seems it is only when things are going bad that the Bible emphasises that the Lord was with Joseph. That is a lesson for us all. During the storm and the winter season of your life … the good Lord is with thee. Never forget that.
22 And the keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison; and whatsoever they did there, he was the doer of it.
23 The keeper of the prison looked not to anything that was under his hand; because the Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
Again, in prison, the Lord was with him. The only proof we have is how the story of Joseph ended. Only God can script what happened. He ended up as a ruler in Egypt. He led Egypt through a recession. His brothers came and bowed to him. He packaged poverty alleviation subsidy for the people of Israel. He was reunited with his father. He seems to have regained all he lost in spectacular ways. Why? Because the Lord was with him.
Is it still a holy paradox? Selah.